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'When I'm the worst player around…': Virat Kohli's 'will happen to you as well' advice for Suryakumar Yadav

Jan 11, 2023 04:11 PM IST

There was a lot of mutual respect between Virat Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav. Kohli opened up about his way of tackling failures and advised Suryakumar to be ready for tough times.

The kind of run Suryakumar Yadav has had in T20Is since making his debut about two years ago against England, is unprecedented in the format. But a similar, perhaps even better patch was enjoyed in other formats by Virat Kohli not too long till a dip in form in 2019 pegged the former India captain back only for him to make another roaring comeback since last year's Asia Cup. Kohli, after scoring his 45th ODI ton, which took another step closer to Sachin Tendulkar's all-time tally of 49 ODI centuries, advised Suryakumar Yadav to be ready to take "a couple of steps back" when things don't go his way.

Virat Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav
Virat Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav

Kohli brought an end to a three-year wait for an ODI century with a sparkling knock against Bangladesh in Mirpur last month and signalled to the world that he is well and truly back to being at his best by smashing another hundred in the first ODI against Sri Lanka in Guwahati on Tuesday.

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After scoring 113 off just 87 balls to help India post a mammoth 373 for 7 at the Barsapara Stadium that helped the Rohit Sharma-led team win the match by 67 runs and take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series, Kohli was interviewed by Suryakumar Yadav for BCCI.tv.

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There was a lot of mutual respect between the two. Kohli opened up about his way of tackling failures and advised Suryakumar to be ready for tough times when the latter asked him about his mantra.

"Runs were flowing from your bat for about 4-5 years then in the last 1-2 years (there was a dip) what did you do during that time that you can again have started to reap the rewards in 2023?" Surya, who was not picked for the first ODI, asked Kohli.

Kohli, who was making a comeback after being rested from the three-match T20, hit 12 fours and a six on Tuesday. But things were not as rosy for the talismanic batter even six months ago. He had to take a long break from cricket after a prolonged lean patch. He came back to the Indian side for the Asia Cup last year and smashed his first century in close to three years. From there on, he has again got his mojo back.

"I said the same thing in the post-match (presentation). Now you'll also experience the same thing when you play more and more. People will look at you differently. Now when Surya goes out to play, people are thinking "Surya will do it". Keeping up with that is a very intense process. Jab tak aapka cricket accha chal raha hota hai, form accha hota hai, these things flow well. But when there is a dip, in my case, frustration started creeping in because I wanted to play the way I do, I wanted to perform to the expectation but cricket wasn't allowing me. It was a challenging period. For that reason, I got away from the game plan.

"My attachments, my desires had totally taken over. That's when I realised, I can't be away from who I am. I have to be true to myself. Even when I am vulnerable, I'm not playing well, I'm the worst player around, I have to accept it, I can't be in denial because then you can get very cranky, and snappy in your space, which was not good at all. It was not fair to anyone around me like Anushka, my close ones. It's not fair for those who support you all the time to keep seeing you in that space. I had to put things in perspective and put things in order. When I came back after being relaxed in the Asia Cup, I started enjoying practice, and training sessions. So whenever you are feeling desperate, always take two steps back rather than pushing more and more because that will keep getting away," Kohli said.

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